It was a beautiful, HOT July morning exactly 2 years ago from today. The excitement and enthusiasm we felt for our sweet little angel to arrive was overwhelming. After timing contractions for a couple of hours, we knew it was time to pack our bags and head to American Fork Hospital. Still 2 ½ weeks away from my due date, we felt confident that I would deliver a healthy, happy baby girl. Upon arriving at the hospital, my contractions were 3 minutes apart and I was in PAIN!!! I thought for sure I was dilated to a 10 at that point, but was disappointed when they told me I was only dilated to a 3. “Someone, please give me an epidural,” was all I could say! We had attended weeks of Lamaze class and prepared for a non-medicated birth….what was I thinking??? They were planning on sending me home and letting me progress further there. However, they monitored the baby’s heart rate and with every contraction, her heart rate would drop significantly. At that point, they felt it was best to admit me and just watch her heart rate for a few hours. I was given an epidural (best decision I’ve ever made) and we waited. Around 8:00 am, Dr. Jones (Dr. Lawrence was on vacation and Dr. Jones was the doctor on call) came in and talked with us about the option of doing a C-section. He was worried that as my contractions progressed, it would really put the baby under a lot of stress. He felt that we could try a natural birth, however, he felt that it would result in a C-section anyway. Bryan and I discussed this option and while we weren’t 100% convinced that this was the way to go, we didn’t want to take any chances and opted to have the C-section.At approximately 9:28 am on July 15, 2006 our sweet angel, Kate, was born weighing 4 lbs. 2 oz. and 15 ½ inches long. She was beautiful. She was very petite and had a head full of thick, dark curly hair. She didn’t cry much at first, just made a small “meow” sound. As they took Kate over to clean and assess her, I overheard the nurse say that she has a cleft palate (which was a total shock). As they checked her heart, they noticed that she had a significant heart murmur and immediately took her to a special unit of the nursery for further testing. As they were leaving, I was able to get a quick glance at Kate and she was perfect to me. Everything happened so fast and it didn’t hit me until I was told that Kate had to be transported up to Primary Children’s Medical Center. This was such devastating news. Before she was transported, they wheeled her into my hospital room in a incubator and Bryan and his dad were able to give her a blessing. As a first-time mom, I had expected to deliver my baby and hold and love her. The hardest part was to let her go. Bryan rode in the ambulance and was with her the entire time.
It was very overwhelming dealing with oxygen, a feeding tube and several medications, but we made it work and in my opinion, we became “pros” at juggling all of Kate’s medical devices. Kate was a miracle and our pride and joy. Bryan and I were determined to help Kate to live as normal of a life as possible. We took her shopping, swimming, to church, trips to the zoo and to the park.
Kate endured many physical challenges including: open-heart surgery, Nissen surgery, a tracheostomy, and spent close to 8 months of her life in the hospital. She was a little fighter and even though she had an imperfect little body, she had a perfect spirit. We prayed so hard for a miracle.....a miracle that Kate would eventually heal and live a healthy life. Looking back, we did get our miracle…..a miracle that she is ours and that we were able to spend 21 of the most challenging yet rewarding months of our lives with this God given angel. Kate touched the lives of so many that knew her and many who didn’t know her. Today we celebrate the life of Kate and the blessing she has been in our lives. Happy Birthday sweet Kater Bugs. We love you so much!!!